Wednesday, January 27, 2010

What's Your Play #80

Playing with Laura at Dolcepics today. There's something about this water spigot -- as soon as this challenge was posted, I knew I wanted to play with the blue color, rusty screw in the center and the simplicity of the image.
So, I'm still playing with using textures and layers . . . I couldn't tell you what combination of all sorts of things I tried with these two variations. I'm more partial to the first -- I like the more grungy feel and more vivid colors.
Another successful day! Home in time for dinner and special time with the kids. Change is such an interesting process. Its exciting and yet anxiety producing. I've come to anticipate whiplash-like bouts of self-doubt as part of recalibrating, readjusting -- even to the most longed-for changes. Its just human nature. I tell clients to expect things to get harder before they get better. Its momentum. Changing direction mid race, throws you off your pace and you may stumble a bit before you hit your stride again. I've been tripping over my feet today. Struggling to define myself in this new role and having to remind myself that things will once again settle into a rhythm.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Excited to share the success of the day. In short order:

1. Kids and mama out the door and deposited at their various locations by 8:00am. Minimal grouchiness and irritability. On the way to Big D's drop off -- we shared 5 favorite things about each other. So sweet and cheesy. Just wanted to send him off knowing that I could think of at least 5 things to love about him. He tries so hard and is such a sweet boy. Mama gushiness.

2. Saw all my clients, wrote all my notes, made all necessary calls and . . . wait for it . . . was home by 6:15pm!!!

3. Made my family a yummy nutritious dinner.

4. Special time with each kiddo before off to bed! Then a little unwinding with favorite OCD detective and hubby.

It was a group effort. Kids helped daddy empty the dishwasher this morning and when I got home, homework was done and baths in the works. This feels WONDERFUL. Now, repeat. I can do this. I have a taste for what it feels like to meet my clients' needs and know that I have also met my husband's and children's. It makes all the difference in the world!

New Week; New Challenges

It's the beginning of a new work week. All the changes made to support balance and family life and sustainability are in place -- this is the first week of putting them into practice. I'll be home in time to fix dinner and put my babies to bed. These sweet children who are growing up so fast and who blossom when their mama is able to spend a little time with them.
I'm excited. I feel as if things are finally right and that I'm on the cusp of truly discovering who I am as a therapist and, more importantly, a mother. There's a bit of anxiety that despite my certainty and planning, the pressure of the work will force me to push back constantly in order to maintain this new-found clarity.

So, I'm off. Wish me well. I hope to report a rewarding day that ends with loves and cuddles at home.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Mud Adventures

Last weekend, we took a walk at the nature park. Camera in hand and rubber boots on our feet. We dubbed our walk the "mud adventure" -- and boy, was it ever! Took Sis a bit to realize that her boots would protect her from the murky mud but once she did, it was a stomping good time!
On these types of walk, we keep a running tab of the animals and creatures we see. We saw 4 newts (this was the first), two deer, squirrels, ducks and possibly a chipmunk. We're still debating whether chipmunks are actually native to our area or if we saw a tiny squirrel . . .
It was a cloudy day but on occasion the sun would shine through and illuminate the beautiful ferns and lingering rain drops. This deer was hidden away so well that we almost missed him. He tolerated my tiptoeing not so subtly closer for a better photo.
Fun was had by all. The kids had to ride home in the van in their undies and socks due to all the mud stomping. That just adds to the adventure of it all!
It's been a long week without posts or photography. I feel a little parched and wrung out. How's that for a mixed metaphor? We have big plans to lay low today, take a drive, read stories, look for pictures to take, eat together. Gather ourselves together to tackle a new week with our priorities firmly intact.

I've been setting a single goal for myself each week since the New Year. My mantra is "I successfully balance my work and life." And each week, a new goal has moved me closer . . . This upcoming week will be the first with a new work schedule allowing me to be home in time for dinner and bed time. I'm relieved. There are many other changes that have been made in the process of redefining my role at work that I won't go into here. But I'm excited! My goals in the coming weeks will center more fully on my family. Things like home cooked meals in the evening, special time with each of my two tots, more stories at bed time, establishing routines for cleaning up toys and bedrooms, more quality time to talk with and enjoy my husband . . .

Friday, January 15, 2010

WYP #78 -- Leaves

It's been a while since I've played with Laura's other followers at Dolcepics. It has been a long week, devoid of any photo taking ops for this mama . . . so grateful that someone will allow me to play with their own:)
So let's see. What did I do. Hard to remember as Little Sis was perched on my lap and I was moderating constant sibling squabbles. I messed with levels, added a vignette and old paper texture. Think that's about it. Oh, and cropped. Fun!!

Monday, January 11, 2010


The word of the month at Shutter Sisters is create. And it has been inspiring to see the images that others have been coming up with . . . beautiful and amazing. Art has been a biggie around our home for some time now. Hubby and Big D both got drawing pencils for Christmas and a typical Saturday or Sunday morning finds the whole family at the kitchen table creating in one way or another.
Yesterday, while I fiddled on the computer, hubby and Big D sketched while Little Sis played with stickers and an endless supply of paper. Side note: what does one do with the billions pieces of paper that are "gifts" from their children? We admire and then slyly dispose of them except that then they dig around in the trash! We have kid art displays that we try to refresh but that is simply not enough to contain the volume. And when you receive 20 pieces of the said art in a single morning, it can be a pit challenging.
When it comes to drawing or just about any other art form (barring photography), this mama is all thumbs. So my contribution to the family artistic endeavors has been a box of 96 colorful crayons and a book of prism designs to color. I love watching the combinations of colors take shape. And I love the big box of crayons. I guard is zealously from my grubby fingered children who are also fascinated by the large array of colors, never mind their own significant supply. Theirs is not as pretty now that the wrappers have been ripped and the crayons are at various stages of breakage.

I love the my children are growing up appreciating beauty and developing their own artistic skills. Big D is truly gifted, drawing images that amaze me given his age. And who knows what hidden skills Sis may have. I've read somewhere that all children believe they are artists early on and as the grow older, they become self-conscience and doubtful of themselves. When asked as older children, most will deny that they are artists. My hope is that we can continue to foster the joy in creating and the confidence to continue doing so.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Evidence of Winter

In our neck of the woods, winter is marked by rain and the occasional day or two of snow. But this Christmas, we had the whole gamut of winter weather! Beautiful frost with sun-filled mornings, drippy rain and a surprise snow storm. Oh, and I failed to mention our most notorious winter weather, the feared ice storm. Thus far, we've avoided this driving disaster this season . . .
Christmas morning, hubby and I snuck out of the house in search of wintery photos. Some these were no further than our backyard.
The frost was heavy and wonderful. I was looking for sun and frost together . . . but the sun was doing his work quickly.

I'm glad that Paige over at Shutter Sisters invited us to show proof of winter in our photos. Today is dark and damp and the pictures are a refreshing reminder of the beauty of winter!

Thursday, January 7, 2010


I'm struggling to feel too terribly creative at the moment -- likely because all my creative energies are funneled into my primary goal at the moment: Balance. This is the first week back to work after a two week break and how quickly all my new found clarity about what I and my family need is tested! But I'm staying strong and focused and know that once things settle out, I will have achieved my goal and will be able to turn my focus to other areas.
The rain has returned to the glorious Northwest and between storms, I ran into the backyard to capture the raindrops on the willow tree. The pictures don't do the sight justice. The long slender branches with glistening rows of drops. For about a moment, there was a whisper of sun that set the entire tree aglow. It was lovely. But alas, by the time this mama got her shoes on, sternly informed the children to stay indoors and got her bum outside with camera in hand, the clouds returned.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Lollipop, Lollipop

Just having a wee bit of fun . . . Enjoying a quiet Saturday at home. Eventually, I know that I'll need to get dressed as we are having friends over for dinner and games. Until it becomes absolutely essential, I'm going to eek out the extravagant pleasure of lounging in jammies, dreaming up creative pics of my two darling dears.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Favorite Images of '09

It has been a year . . . since my hubby bought me my camera, since I participated in a beginning digital photography class at the local community college, since I began exploring my creative potential. Only a year! This seems like an opportune time to reflect on where I began, what I've learned and what I hope to accomplish in this coming year.
Apparently, my organization system has improved over the course of the year! In the early months, there is no clear way to identify which photographs have been processed or even which were considered keepers. After various attempts of getting things straightened up, my current system, though not perfect, is much easier for me to use! One of my goals is to do a better job of both organization and backing up my files . . .
Initially, I shied away from people pics. They were harder to predict and it took me so much time and brain power to figure out how to use the manual functions - by the time I got it together, my subject (aka fickle child) had moved on. Now my challenge is to take portraits indoors with natural lighting . . . and still be focus! Lots of time to work on that with the winter months.
Initially, my only concern was getting a good picture but my definition was fairly broad. At first, it was to be in focus with the correct exposure. Then I began to be deliberate in my use of aperture and shutter speed to create the photo in my mind's eye. Still have a long ways to go! Goals I've set for myself include working my way through Peterson's Understanding Shutter Speed and task myself with assignments to practice. Perhaps I should make that a blog project . . . . I'd also like to participate in photography club in town and take a class. I think that's more than enough to keep me busy in 2010!

ps: inspired by Shutter Sisters and Gabrielle Kai